Williams Lynch

Our latest news and events

Happy New Year SE1

Wishing all of our past, present and future clients the very best wishes for 2019

We are looking forward to a successful new year all round, building on some of the extraordinary positive developments of 2018.

The 'Lettings Rush' has already started, so if you're still thinking about putting your property on the market for rent, then it's definitely time to act now. Speak with Dene in our Lettings team to discuss your home and the services we can offer.

Last year was an extra special one for Williams Lynch. We celebrated our 20th Anniversary and even featured on the front cover of local magazine 'The River', which has been distributed to thousands of local residents. It seems incredible that twenty years have passed since we first opened our doors at 90 Bermondsey Street.

The River magazine

So much has changed since then, but what has remained consistent in all that time is the ongoing 'gentrification' of our community. In 2018 we enjoyed our best ever Lettings performance as demand for professional accommodation in SE1 and its surrounds steadily increases. We have been pleased to offer Landlords all the help and support they need in getting the right tenants and the best incomes.

Sales too remain strong. The appetite for loft conversions, warehouse apartments and the 'Bermondsey Street' way has not waned, and housing stock cannot keep up with it. No wonder the sales market for quality homes is still so healthy in this postcode.

Mark Williams, our Managing Director, and all the team of Williams Lynch would like to wish you all a happy and successful 2019.

A World of “Pure Imagination”

In a converted tin box factory built in the 1820s…

Just around the corner from Borough tube station, is an apartment the likes of which rarely comes onto the market.

Hold your breath, make a wish, count to three…

The space has been transformed into a fantasy landscape, a created world that resembles a film or stage set of Alice in Wonderland, or an enchanted Harry Potter house.

Arranged over the top two floors of the converted premises on Cole Street, the front door to the apartment opens up into a stunning open plan space with windows on two sides. Grandfather clocks, long chunky wooden tables on wooden floors and a wrought iron spiral staircase echo a timeless fantasy land of mischief and fun.

Dried vines, copper and gold, rise up in the corners, climbing along the stone beams overhead bringing the natural outdoor world inside.

In the mezzanine floor above, is the bedroom and bathroom with access to a private terrace.

It's not surprising that the illusion of another world has been so successfully and magically created in this place. The owners, the “Brothers Quay” are world leading movie animators, famous for their award-winning work on the Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer music video (1986) and sequences in films including Frida (2002).

Terry Gilliam, Monty Python member and master of the weird, is known to be a big fan of the twin brothers Stephen and Timothy, who have spent much of their professional life in Southwark having moved to London in 1969 from their home in USA. They are selling the property with no onward chain and some lucky wizard is about to find a new, delightful home.

Situated just off Borough High Street with easy access to all the usual favourites: Bermondsey Street, Borough Market, the Southbank plus tube and train links it gives us great pleasure to share this opportunity, and reminds us at Williams Lynch, why we enjoy being SE1 property specialists so much.

For more information or to arrange a viewing please contact Eddi Matthiasson at Williams Lynch on 020 7940 9940 or by email eddi@williamslynch.co.uk.

Builder Management

Simple do's and don'ts to keep your development project moving on time and on budget

Article in The RIVER Magazine Summer 2019

If you’re planning any home improvements there are some simple things to remember so your builders don’t start drifting onto other projects, or walk off the job altogether.

Before you start with a builder or new project, do take the time to get multiple quotes and go by recommendations if possible. Also, from the outset, once builders start taking out electrics and plumbing all sorts of hidden issues may come to light so having a reserve fund, a contingency, to cover these is vital.

If you’re planning an extension or loft conversion ask yourself: Will this spend add an equivalent value to my property? If it doesn’t, you may decide to proceed anyway, if you’re looking for an improved lifestyle rather than a return on money spent. Talk to your neighbours about the plans so they are aware and can be out or away when the noisiest or dirtiest parts of the job are underway. Let them know well in advance when water and electrics are likely to be switched off too.

Negotiating a special price for cash may seem smart but it does open up other risks and potential expenses, and isn’t recommended. Builders who are happy to take cash may well turn out to be cowboys, and if you’re the one trying to get a deal for cash, this might ring the alarm bells of a professional team.

Cash projects can save money by avoiding the taxman but it does put the project out of reach of the courts and regulators. In the event of a dispute the costs will dwarf any possible money saved. It’s better to be clear, up front and legitimate – setting the tone of your relationship as professional and stable. Pay on time the agreed amounts, check your invoices and be visibly managing the project.

Adding ‘extras’ to the project specification throughout the development will only put pressure on your team who will have scheduled the work and subsequent projects with some precision. It also blurs the clarity of the original plan and introduces new, potentially problematic or delaying obstacles.

Like extras, changes in the plans will probably incur extra costs, increasing pressure on the team and on your relationship too, so take more time in advance to consider your options and stick to them. As far as possible plan your materials: if they are coming from abroad, delivery delays can slow jobs down and create scheduling problems.

Being on the end of a telephone or sending instructions by text message will work most of the time but it’s a good idea to visit the site regularly, during daylight hours, so you can inspect the work thoroughly and discuss any issues with the team. Remember, it may be your home, your biggest investment, but no-one enjoys having their boss standing over them while they work. It suggests a lack of trust and confidence to your builder and it’s only a matter of time before you begin chipping in tips of your own, which are unlikely to be welcome.

An upbeat and motivated team will work efficiently and won’t be tempted to cut corners so make sure your team have access to toilet facilities, parking and skip space when and where needed, storage for tools, a radio and a kettle plus running water. Builders love their cups of tea, and if they can work happily and hydrated, they will work better.

Finally, have a good sense of humour with your builders, and if things go wrong (which they often do), try to be philosophical about it and work through the issues positively rather than launching into combat mode.

Are you looking for property in the SE1 area? If you're looking to sell or buy property in Lambeth, London Bridge, Bermondsey, Southwark or Borough, contact local SE1 estate agents [Williams Lynch].

Silent Disco Invitation

The Bermondsey Street Festival - Saturday 14th Sept 2019

A small personal space in the heart of this buzzing Street Festival, so come and join us and show us your best moves!

Look for the red carpet and grab one of 25 headsets for a dance session.

Face icon wearing headphone

Williams Lynch

63 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF

11am to 5pm

Entrance Fee: Charitable donation min £1.00 to Infinity, so bring your coins and notes please 🙂

SE1 is a hit on Instagram

The trend of finding eye-catching or meaningful locations to take selfies has been termed 'Insta-Landmark' and SE1 has more than its fair share of the top ranked venues.

Leake Street underpass

Earlier this summer a light-hearted piece of 'news' was covered in one of the national papers. A study had been made of top locations hashtagged in Instagram posts, creating alternative “must see” places to the UK's more traditional landmarks.

A new list is emerging of favourite places to visit and capture on camera that includes bars, bridges, tunnels and shops. It's probably no surprise that London is in the top twenty list several times, followed by Manchester, with three locations in the top twenty.

What is surprising however, is that SE1 is in the Top 20 not once, not twice but three times! Is our neighbourhood frequented by uncommonly busy Instagram users or just that in this neck of the woods we have unusually interesting, weird and wonderful locations that make incredible backdrops to selfie photos?

Number 5 in the national list is the tunnel at Leake Street, adorned with ever-changing murals and graffiti art, and once made famous by early Banksy art works in 2008. Leake Street which stretches from York Road to Lower Marsh is, for 300 metres, a pedestrian-only tunnel beneath one end of Waterloo station. Waves and waves of artists, illustrators and vandals have set this hidden passageway ablaze with colour and street art.

It has, at the time of counting, amassed a seriously high number of hashtags: 35,596.

Number 7 in the charts is also at Waterloo but at this this venue you can sit back and relax with a cocktail or glass of champagne while you take photos and share with friends. “Tonight Josephine” is packed with pink neon signs, one of which has proved hugely popular as a backdrop to a selfie, and reads 'Well Behaved Women Don’t Make History’. The décor is fun and feminine and the vibe is set with the flick of a switch that illuminates pink neon fingers crossing and other suggestive or motivational messages.

With 9,987 hashtags “Tonight Josephine” has comfortably earned its place as one of the country's popular destinations.

The third and final inclusion in the top twenty from our south London community is Sugarhouse Studios in Bermondsey. The former school building, the studios are now home to artists and craftspeople run by Assemble, a collective set up in 2010.

Clocking up 2,658 Instagram hashtags it's the striking handmade concrete tiles in pale shades that draw the crowds. But if you are considering visiting it yourself you should hurry as the property is soon to be developed, knocked down and replaced by new houses.

If you know any local venue contenders for future Top 20 lists, remember to hashtag your post when you share it and let's see what makes next year's favourite Insta-Landmark list.

Are you looking for property in the SE1 area? If you're looking to sell or buy property in Lambeth, London Bridge, Bermondsey, Southwark or Borough, contact local SE1 estate agents Williams Lynch.

Bermondsey Street Signature Tune

Musicity and Low Line bring bespoke music to the street

Bermondsey Street Tunnel has been immortalised in music as part of the Musicity project in which musical compositions are created for specific locations that can be enjoyed while walking the new 'Low Line' of London. To listen it you will need a smartphone, the Musicity app and to be at the location.

Using Geotracking the app locates you and lets you play the music that has been specifically produced for that location, so as you walk the Low Line and the architecture around you changes, so does the soundtrack on the musicality app.

Chihiro Ono has been chosen to create the piece for Bermondsey Street and her repertoire ranges from Baroque (on period instruments), Classical, Contemporary, Experimental Music, Performing Art, Improvisation to Sound Art.

Musicity, launched by Nick Luscombe of BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction music show, is collaborating with Low Line, conceived by a local resident and former architect David Stephens. Stephens was Inspired by New York’s High Line, a 1.5 mile stretch of disused elevated railway transformed into walkways and gardens on the west side of Manhattan. London’s version follows the 150 years old railway arches south of the river.

The full list of artists and their Low Line locations are:

  • Lola de la Mata - Old Union Yard Arches
  • Thomas Stone - Ewer Street
  • Szjerdene - Wardens Grove
  • The Memory Band - Flat Iron Square
  • Nabihah Iqbal aka Throwing Shade - Borough Market
  • Lossy - Southwark Cathedral
  • Suitman Jungle - London Bridge Station
  • William Doyle - The Shard
  • Gestalt - Vinegar Yard
  • Chihiro Ono - Bermondsey Street Tunnel
  • Tom Szirtes - Holyrood Street
  • Erland Cooper - Underdog Gallery
  • James Alec Hardy - Druid Street Wildflower Meadow
  • Frog Morris - Blue Bermondsey
  • Cunning Folk - Biscuit Factory

The complete Low Line walk will take you from the Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey up through Maltby Street Market, crossing Bermondsey Street and past Vinegar Yard, round the Shard, beside Southwark Cathedral and through Borough Market, onto Flat Iron Square and ending just by Southwark tube station.

“Cities are these amazing possibilities to put two things together: music and architecture. The city is a playground, a backdrop for music,” says Nick Luscombe.

If you are interested in walking the walk, you can follow the map on Google

The Swinging Sixties on Bermondsey Street

It's never a dull moment on Bermondsey Street...

Diabolo minidress

Have you ever fancied an immersive experience of London in the Swinging Sixties? The fashions of Mary Quant, the innovations of Terence Conran?

Well, now you can…

There's something quite vintage about Bermondsey, the town name conjures up images of a London before the wars; of warehouses and biscuit factories, tanneries and incoming ships to be unloaded and reloaded by hard working men and women. No wonder the antique markets and up-cycling furniture retailers have found it a natural place to set up shop. The history of London past still loiters in the air, in the architecture and the charm of the local people who now occupy the area.

Halfway down Bermondsey Street, in the eye-grabbing pink and orange building of the Fashion and Textile Museum, an exhibition of all the things that lifted London out of the cold grey post-war years and turned it into the throbbing heart of metropolitan life, is underway.

Running until the beginning of June and open Tuesdays to Saturday (11am to 6pm, later on a Thursday), there is a full mix of fashion, textiles, furniture, lighting, homewares, ceramics and ephemera. Key pieces include rare and early examples of designs by Conran and Quant, plus the avant-garde artists, designers and intellectuals who worked alongside them, such as designers Bernard and Laura Ashley, sculptor Eduardo Paolozzi and artist and photographer Nigel Henderson.

Tickets are modestly priced at £9.90 for adults, £8.80 for concessions, £7 for students and children under 12 are free.

Take a walk down Memory Lane, or if you're younger than that, take a closer peek into the London that captured the imagination and attention of the world.

Southwark Council takes Courage

Courage Yard is purchased by the council, a significant investment that demonstrates confidence in rising local property values.

Just beside Tower Bridge, in an oft-overlooked nook of south London is the exquisite area of Shad Thames. The riverfront is lined with beautiful restaurants, bars and cultural hotspots with incredible views along the Thames in either direction and across to the City of London.

With stylish converted warehouse accommodation and quality restaurants afoot - including Butlers Wharf Chop House and Le Pont de la Tour, the area has steadily attracted top businesses. Zoopla ZPG Ltd, the online property portal, relocated there recently taking a whopping 44,000 square feet in Courage Yard.

In January 2019 Southwark Council confirmed it had purchased the area from Colombia Threadneedle who bought the site for around £48 million in 2015. After a successful rebrand and refurbishment, the site went back on the market for a significantly higher price of £89 million last year. Southwark Council is adding it to the existing rental incomes it enjoys from its 2017 purchases in Shand Street and Holyrood Street nearby, each close to the council's HQ on Tooley Street.

The entire Courage Yard area is situated on a 2.2 acre freehold site with almost 70,000 square foot of office space, 18,000 square foot of shops, 160 residential units and hundreds of car parking spaces. It's estimated that the yearly rental yield from all of these will exceed £5 million.

Councillor Victoria Mills, Cabinet Minister for Finance, Performance and Brexit said, “Over the years we have acquired commercial assets that we can manage to generate revenue. Projects are chosen based on being in Southwark and the size and resilience of their revenue return, which can then be used to support our frontline services.”

Once upon a time, if Courage Yard (back in the 80s known as Horselydown Square) had been a place on the Monopoly board, it would have been positioned somewhere between the Old Kent Road and Whitechapel, but with its recent transformations the area might now be better placed far further around the board.

Monopoly board on white

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